A British slaughterhouse owner has been fined £8000, bringing to a close the first prosecution brought as a result of the wide-ranging investigation into the 2013 horse-meat scandal.
As well as the fine, Peter Boddy was ordered to pay more than £10,000 in costs when he appeared for sentence in Southwark Crown Court.
Boddy admitted failing to comply with food traceability regulations. He had admitted to selling horses for meat but failed to keep proper records to show who bought them.
His slaughterhouse manager, David Moss, was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for falsifying an invoice. He was also ordered to pay costs of more than £10,000.
“We are pleased with the successful conclusion of this prosecution,” the chief operating officer for Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), Jason Feeney, said.
“The rules on food traceability are there to protect consumers and legitimate businesses.
“Criminal activity like this across Europe contributed to the horse-meat incident. Consumers need to know that their food is what it says it is on the label.”
He said the agency continued to support ongoing investigations into the wider horse-meat incident.
In addition to the on-going investigation, the agency and other Government departments have been implementing recommendations from a review into the integrity of Britain’s food chain.
This includes the establishment of the Food Crime Unit, which is giving greater focus to enforcement against food fraud by analysing intelligence, initiating investigations and liaising with other criminal and regulatory enforcement agencies.
Andy Morling was announced this week as the head of the Food Crime Unit.
The horse-meat scandal resulted in a massive testing programme across Europe, which revealed a range of ready-to-eat beef products adulterated with horse meat. Millions of items were pulled from supermarket freezers as a result.
The inquiry revealed the vulnerability of the horse-meat industry to rogue traders.